A New Opportunity for More Sleep

Mariner Highschool Implements a New School Schedule


Person sleeping, while first period starts at 7:20 AM. Photo from UMMS Health

Brian Truongle (He/Him) 9th Grade, Staffer

Mariner Highschool in the next school year of 2022-2023 will implement a new schedule for students that maybe have to take care of siblings before school or just can’t keep up with the current 7:20 AM start time. With the new 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM schedule in place, the Mariner Administrators are hoping for students to score higher academic scores and have more focus in the classrooms.

They also want to see an overall better student experience at Mariner High. Since sports practices are held in the afternoon, usually right after school, students who choose to participate in school sports must abide by the current schedule.

Some school districts changed the start times for schools completely, starting high schools at 8:30 AM and elementary schools at 7:20 AM. If this were the case for Mariner High as well, then we would start our clubs and after-school activities later in the day.

Due to the smaller amount of students that attend Mariner High they aren’t able to start at 8:30 AM but would have to continue with the current schedule, unlike some other schools. That’s why one of the drawbacks to the Pilot Schedule is that clubs and athletic activities will still have to start after the normal school schedule.

Mrs. Salcedo, a teacher at Mariner had a few words to share about the new schedule and how it might affect her, and some other teachers

“I think it’s a great idea, I like how it’s an option because some teachers like me have children and can’t stay at school that late,” Mrs. Salcedo stated.

When it comes to planning for classes and near future assignments, tests, and projects it could be harder for some teachers because they have to plan for classes coming in at different times. Mrs. Salcedo’s solution to this challenge is to plan earlier in the morning, especially if teachers already come to school around 5 to 6 AM the new schedule can give them more time in the mornings to plan than in the afternoon.

The Principle at Mariner High, Mr.DuChesne talks about the development behind making the 9 AM schedule a possibility for families to choose from. When making big decisions like a new schedule for a school there are a lot of things you have to consider.

“One thing you have to consider is transportation, you have to take kids to school later in the day and you have to take kids home later in the day, so it’s a big deal, cost a lot of money”. Principle DuChesne says.

He also speaks about how teachers have a choice too and aren’t forced into this new schedule.

“We have to have teachers that are willing to stay as well,” Mr. DuChesne said, “We can’t support this project unless the teachers do.”

If teachers do choose the late schedule they wouldn’t have their planning period 7th and 8th after school, they would have their planning period moved to the 3 through 6 time slot, so their planning would take place through the regular schedule of the day.

This is to emphasize the amount of flexibility that the Administrators want the “Pilot Schedule” to have, not only for students and families but for teachers as well.

The process of making the Pilot schedule began a couple of years ago when the pandemic distance learning was enforced, classes started out later in the day. This helped set a baseline for the schedule and get the Pilot on paper.

“We had to go through the process of talking to the Teachers Union, The District Office Staff, and the community, so its not just a Mariner decision it’s more of a District decision,” Mr. DuChesne said.

A sophomore at Mariner, Dylan Bui, was very open and shared his opinion on the topic.

“I feel like a lot of kids go to sleep kind of late, if school started at 9 then people would get more sleep on command instead of being forced to sleep and waking up earlier,” Bui said.

Even with the change, students would still attend the current schedule due to sports, they think that the 9 AM start time is a good thing. Some students don’t think it’s a good idea at all, saying that it’s a waste of resources and would much rather be doing things at home and outside of school rather than staying at school throughout the afternoon. The overall message the Administrators want to send is the amount of flexibility they are trying to offer and that they are willing to listen to the community to make the school a better learning environment.